JMC Psychotherapy, Bolton – What is depression?

Depression becomes a problem when the symptoms of depression intensify and persist.

Depression ranges from mild to severe. It may simply be a feeling that something’s not right. You may think that you never used to feel like this, and that you’ve lost your spark but you don’t know why. On the other hand, depression can be much more serious and very debilitating.

 

Classic Signs / Symptoms of Depression

There are some classic signs of depression:

  • You may find getting up in the morning difficult before feeling slightly better in the afternoon.
  • You may feel as if you are in a tunnel with no light at the end.
  • Your overriding feeling may be “why can’t I be happy?”
  • Getting through every day may seem like a huge effort.
  • You may suffer from erratic sleeping patterns.
  • Perhaps you feel irritable and restless much of the time.
  • You may have difficulty concentrating and difficulty making decisions.
  • You may be prone to crying or even suicidal thoughts.
  • You may suffer from physical ailments such as persistent headaches and digestive disorders.
  • You make excuses to friends to explain why you can’t meet up with them, or you tell them you’re “just too tired.”
  • You often prefer to stay at home rather than go out, and you’d rather be alone than share and talk. You develop a tendency to push others away.
  • You no longer have the same energy and enthusiasm in relationships and you become very self focussed and sensitive, easily offended, and quick to snap.

What depression is not

Depression is not simply feeling fed up when your team loses a big match, when you have to go to work on Monday morning, or when the sun steadfastly refuses to shine in the English summer.

What causes can trigger depression?

There is a whole host of causes of depression; Obviously no one chooses to be depressed. The cause might be a current life event such as the breakup of a relationship, bereavement, redundancy, stress or bullying at work. An abusive relationship could easily trigger depression, or the depression could be post viral, perhaps after a severe dose of flu. The cause of depression may be feelings that have had to be suppressed for years have finally come to the surface. Sometimes even something apparently wonderful like retirement can be a big trigger for depression.

Who can depression affect?

Depression is something that can affect anyone, regardless of money, status or a happy domestic situation.  It isn’t something you can “snap out of”, and sometimes depression affects people whose circumstances would appear to be very positive.

Is depression just a form of weakness?

Other people may think that you have just “given in”, as if you have a choice in the matter. The fact is there is no choice and depression is just as much an illness as any physical issue.  It can affect the most determined of people – even powerful personalities can experience deep depression. Winston Churchill called it his “black dog”. Many comedians, who are obviously in the business of making people laugh, suffer from depression.

What about medication for depression?

Psychotherapists do not prescribe medication. It is entirely the choice of the individual whether he or she wishes to approach a GP for medication.

What can I do to help myself cope with depression, in addition to therapy?

There are some steps which can be taken to complement therapy for depression:

  • Eat well
  • Establish a routine
  • Cut down on alcohol.
  • Avoid using cannabis.

How will psychotherapy help me with depression?

Research shows that the best combination for dealing with depression is psychotherapy and anti depressants. However, some people prefer no medication or they opt for herbal treatments.

Psychotherapy is very powerful and it looks at the root cause of the problem whilst also dealing with the current situation and providing strategies for everyday living. We may look at Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help you with daily life. This is something we would discuss in the initial free, half hour meeting.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) & depression

CBT can help you to change how you think (“Cognitive”) and what you do (“Behaviour)”. These changes can help you to feel better, it is a way of talking about:

  • How you think about yourself, the world and other people
  • How what you do affects your thoughts and feelings.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help you to make sense of overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts. This makes it easier to see how they are connected and how they affect you. Unlike some of the other “talking treatments”, CBT focuses on the “here and now” problems and difficulties. Instead of focussing on the causes of your distress or symptoms in the past, it looks for ways to improve your state of mind now.

As an Integrative Therapist with many years’ experience, I recognise there are many ways in which depression can be treated. CBT is only one option and there may be more appropriate routes for you. Again, this can be discussed in the free initial meeting where guidance regarding the best method we can use together will be given.

Telephone Consultations

I am frequently contacted by visitors to my website who feel that they need a consultation but live some distance from my office in Bolton, Greater Manchester. If you feel that you would benefit from a telephone conversation, please visit Psychotherapy Consultations – Online Payment page to see how it works.

PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO CONTACT ME FOR MORE INFORMATION AND FOR FREE INITIAL HALF HOUR SESSION.

 

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